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U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice leaves following a General Assembly vote granting Palestinians non-member observer status on November 29, 2012 in New York City.
With Rice bowing out of the running for Secretary of State, who will succeed Clinton? Last week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice officially withdrew her name from consideration for Secretary of State. Once her name began to be floated, Republicans in Congress threw up strong opposition, questioning her leadership skills in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in Libya. In her withdrawal letter to the President, Rice said she had become “convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly,” and an unwelcome national distraction.
Massachusetts Senator and former Presidential candidate John Kerry has long been considered a frontrunner to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, and would likely meet with GOP approval. He’d have big shoes to fill - the list of illustrious past holders of the title goes back to John Jay, and includes Henry Kissinger, William Jennings Bryan, Madeleine Albright and Thomas Jefferson.
The position of Secretary of State requires expertise in international affairs, experience with diplomacy and an effective working relationship with the Commander-in-Chief; many agree that Clinton has done an admirable job during challenging times.
Who should be nominated to the post for President Obama’s next term? How will he or she shape foreign policy going forward? How will the U.S. navigate this period of Middle Eastern conflict, European economic woes and threats from North Korea? What qualities make a great Secretary of State?
Edward Mihalkanin, Associate Professor of Political Science at Texas State University, author of “American Statesmen: Secretaries of State from John Jay to Colin Powell,” (2004, Greenwood)